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Robert Dunlap Medal of Honor recipient dies

Robert H. “Bobby’’ Dunlap, age 79, of Monmouth, Illinois, formerly of Abingdon, died at Community Medical Center in Monmouth, Illinois at 5:25 a.m. on March 24, 2000. Dunlap was a World War II Marine Corps veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism on Iwo Jima.

Mr. Dunlap was born October 19, 1920 in Abingdon, Illinois the son of William and Leona Smith Dunlap.

He attended school in Abingdon and graduated from Abingdon High School. He then attended and graduated from Monmouth College in 1942.

After college, Robert enlisted in the Marine Corps in April of 1942 and saw combat in December 1943. He was part of Battle Campaigns at Guadalcanal, Vella La Vella, Bougainville, Guam, and lastly at Iwo Jima. “Bobby’’ was one of 27 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor from the Battle on Iwo Jima. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. He also was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal, the Presidential Citation and American Campaign medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

Following service he was married to Mary Louise Frantz at the Great Lakes Navel Station on December 14, 1947. She survives.

Upon his return to Monmouth, Robert farmed, and was a teacher and coach at Warren School for many years. He coached Warren Football to a State Championship. He also assisted in coaching Y.M.C.A. Swim team and Little League in earlier years.

He was a member of the Coldbrook Christian Church where he served as Deacon and was involved with Bible School.

He was a member of the Monmouth Rotary Club, of which he was a Paul Harris Fellow.

The Abingdon High School Gymnasium is named the Robert H. Dunlap Gymnasium in his honor. In 1986 Bobby was inducted into the M-Club Hall of Fame at Monmouth College and was again honored by the college with the dedication of the Bobby Dunlap Terrace in 1990.

Recently he was honored in the War Memorial on the lawn of the Warren County Courthouse, and most recently by the American Legion, V.F. W., and the Marine Corps at a dedication and ceremony to establish the Robert H. Dunlap room.

Surviving besides his wife, are one daughter, Donna J. Butler and husband Tim, of Monmouth; one son James Dunlap, and wife Marilyn, of Raleigh, North Carolina; one sister, Florence Fisher, and husband Lynn of Naperville; one brother, Harold G. Dunlap, and wife, Patricia, of Abingdon; one granddaughter, Michelle Merritt Gilbert and husband, Larry of Monmouth and one great grandson, Liam Merritt Gilbert of Monmouth.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 28 at 10 a.m. at the Coldbrook Christian Church with Dr. Stafford Weeks, officiating.

Interment was in the Warren County Memorial Park Cemetery where full military honors were presented by the Marine Corps.

Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth was in charge of the arrangements.

A memorial fund is being established for either the Marion B. Fletcher Post 136 American Legion, or the J. W. Clendenin Post 2301 Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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